When we are young we don’t always think long-term about the decisions we make, and many make poor choices in their late teens and early twenties. One of the most common arrests for somebody in this age group is for using a false identification – or fake ID – in conjunction with attempting to purchase alcohol or driving under the influence. Although these actions are hardly ever taken with ill intent, there are serious consequences for each crime punishable by steep fines and jail time in Florida.
Fake I.D. Charges in Florida
A fact that many don’t realize about using a fake ID in Florida is that it is a felony charge. Many young college students and parents are shocked to find out upon the arrest that this charge is more severe than a DUI. Even a third offense DUI that has not occurred within 10 years of the previous DUI is considered a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to a year in jail and no more than $5,000 in fines. Being arrested for a fake ID in Florida, however, is a third degree felony charge punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine right off the bat. Since most who face fake ID charges are first time offenders with a clean record, many do not receive the harshest sentence. Someone who has been arrested for fake ID implications and has a clean record may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program, which allows the person to serve time by performing community service, paying fines, undergoing a drug and alcohol evaluation, and one year of supervised probation. Completing this program successfully can lead to dropped charges. The case may even be expunged after that.
Fake ID + DUI Charges in Florida
When one goes a step further and is suspected of DUI by a Florida law enforcement officer, and is then discovered to be driving with a fake driver’s license, the person faces many potential charges such as underage DUI (which can occur with a BAC of 0.02% or higher), misrepresenting oneself to a police officer (a first degree misdemeanor charge), and the actual charge for possessing a fake ID, which is a third degree felony. This is a common scenario and oftentimes both sets of charges are taken to felony court. If the state attorney’s office drops the felony case (the fake ID charge), both may go to county court. When you face such serious charges with the potential to completely alter your life, especially if you are a young college student, you must not hesitate to seek strong legal representation. A criminal defense attorney in West Palm Beach like Brian Gabriel has over 30 years of experiencing defending DUI and fake ID charges. Call 561-622-5575 for a free case evaluation today.